New Auburn Mayor & City Council Lay Out Goals and Changes for their 2018-2022 Term
A month into the job, the new Auburn mayor and city council members are hard at work making changes for the city.
“My intent is that the city of Auburn sees us as a transparent government that represents them to the best of our abilities,” said Auburn Mayor, Ron Anders.
A goal many of the new members had on their list was better communication between city officials and the community.
So, the new team added two time slots for public input during their bi-monthly city council meetings.
“We’ve created an opportunity for the public to communicate before the meeting on agenda items and after the meeting they’ll have an opportunity to speak with us about anything to do with Auburn,” said Anders.
Another change the council agreed on was creating a consent agenda. This will allow them to approve easy, non-controversial items all at once instead of going through them one by one.
Another goal Mayor Anders wants to focus on is the 2040 plan. In the future he said he’ll put together a task force to plan for the next 20 years.
But for now, he has started four new task forces breaking up two city council members for each. Focusing on diversity and inclusion, student housing, short term rentals and boards of commissions-that task force is to create public interviews for Planning Commission and Board of Education applicants.
“Student housing is something we need to get our arms around, short term rentals and diversity. I’ve heard there are folks who feel like they are not cared about. We will spend time with them and be listening. We will also spend time gathering information and hearing what their life is like living in Auburn so there’s no holes in our community,” said Anders.
New city councilman for Ward Five Steven Dixon is heading up the diversity and inclusion task force with Ward One councilwoman Connie Taylor.
Dixon said he’s excited to dive in and listen to what the community needs.
“Which is really, really important to the city of Auburn and to the residents here. This is what I heard constantly on the campaign trail is that some people don’t feel like they’ve been heard and I want them to know this council is going to hear them,” said Dixon.
It’s the first time in nearly 20 years to have a brand new council. So, every member knows there will be growing pains and differences. But, with a few meetings in, they said they already feel like they are growing together for the better and will work hard to make the best decisions for their city.
“I want to make sure everything that we accomplish has a goal and has a good end,” said Dixon.
“The key is for us to be respectful of how new we all are, but I believe we will form a good unit and work together for the best of Auburn,” said Anders.